The Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF), the entity in charge of distributing $20 billion to Gulf of Mexico residents whose lives were financially impacted by the April 2010 oil spill, is closing and consolidating a number of offices effective June 1. The agency is shuttering four offices in Florida, three in Louisiana and one in Alabama. In Alabama, the Dauphin Island office will close; claimants in that area are being referred to the Bayou LaBatre, Louisiana, GCCF location. According to Amy Weiss of Point Blank Public Affairs—the firm representing GCCF administrator Kenneth Feinberg—the closures are due to a drop in the number of claim filings. The Louisiana Record quoted Weiss as saying: “We have currently processed 90 percent of all the claims, and new claims continue to diminish.” Meanwhile, the number of boat owners who participated in BP’s Vessels of Opportunity (VOO) program and say they were not adequately compensated continues to grow, as does the number of people complaining of health problems related to the oil spill and the chemical dispersants used to mitigate the oil. Likewise, a new documentary on the Gulf oil spill estimates that 4 to 5 million people were adversely impacted by the spill. The Big Fix, which premiered last week at the Cannes Film Festival, focuses on the aftermath of the oil rig explosion that killed 11 and subsequent leak that spewed millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf. The film features interviews with fisherman and other Gulf Coast residents who suffered economic loss due to the oil spill and say they have not yet been compensated. The documentary also touches on the possible health ramifications of the spill, as more regional residents who participated in clean-up efforts report health conditions ranging from dizziness to nausea to vision problems to skin conditions. In fact, Rebecca Tickell, one of the filmmakers behind The Big Fix, was exposed to oil and chemical dispersants during shooting and developed photosensitivity and a severe skin rash. If you participated in VOO and were not properly compensated or if you suffered other damages due to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, please contact the experienced Mobile, Alabama, attorneys at Long & Long.

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